21 Sad Facts About The Deindustrialization Of Britain

Uk Miners Strike

Photo: Steve Eason / Getty / Hulton Archive

The UK was the first country to industrialize, eventually becoming the World’s preeminent power on the back of its factories, mines, and workers.Now, those factories and mines are closing, and those workers aren’t working. In the past 30 years the deindustralization of the country has accelerated rapidly, leaving many people behind.

We’ve assembled some important facts that will show you exactly how the World’s first industrial nation has become the world’s first post-industrial nation — and what this means for the average Brit.

The UK's manufacturing sector has shrunk by two-thirds in the last 30 years.

Source: The Guardian

In 1950, in the aftermath of the Second World War, the UK accounted for more than 10% of global exports, yet by 2009 that share had declined to just under 3%.

A million people made cars in the UK during the 1960s. By 2009 that number was just 180,000.

Source: CBS

During the 1960s and 70s cotton mills in Lancashire closed at a rate of one a week.

The industry that was once the backbone of the industrial revolution was also one of the first to go. By the 1980s it had vanished.

Source: Spinningtheweb.org.uk

In 1983 there were 170 working coal mines. By 2009, there were 4.

Just after World War 2, manufacturing accounted for almost 40% of the UK's economy

Source: BBC

Manufacturing is now just a tenth of the UK economy

Source: The Guardian

...and the services industry is now 75.8%

Source: The Guardian

The UK had been hoping that a manufacturing boom might pull the country out of recession, but industrial production figures unexpectedly slumped this Summer.

Manufacturing output rose just 0.1% in July 2011, while the wider measure of industrial production fell 0.2%.

Source: The Guardian

Over the past decade, U.K.'s oil and natural gas consumption have remained relatively stable while domestic production of both has declined, making the country a net energy importer.

Source: EIA

North Sea oil and gas operators will need to spend more than $47.5 billion ($76 billion) to decommission platforms, pipelines and other infrastructure after resources are depleted.

Source: Bloomberg

American investor Jim Rogers has argued that the eventual depletion of the North Sea oil reserves will eventually send the pound crashing.

Source: Telegraph

BAE Systems, Europe's biggest arms manufacturer, announced it was cutting almost 3,000 jobs in the UK this September.

Source: Reuters

Rover Car company, founded in 1878, was eventually declared insolvent in 2005.

While the Rover brand name still lives on (it's now owned by Indian company Tata), the end of MG Rover left 6,000 workers without jobs at the iconic Longbridge plant near Birmingham, UK. The plant's assets were sold off to Chinese company Nanjing Automobile.

A study found that most MG Rover workers found new jobs in the service industry...

... but they were paid £5,640 ($8,911) less a year.

Source: The Guardian

The last deep coal mine in Wales closed in 2008, having effectively run out. 120 miners lost their jobs.

Source: BBC

The end of the coal mines left many rural areas desolate.

'The fabric of the housing etcetera has deteriorated and many villages in the former coalfields have become like inner city sink estates except they are in semi-rural isolation.'

David Parry, the Coalfield Communities Campaign (BBC, 2004)

When Kraft took over Cadbury's chocolate in 2009, they promised to halt the closure of Somerdale plant.

They lied.

The plant closed and production moved to Poland. 400 jobs were lost.

Source: BBC

6.8 million people worked in manufacturing when Margaret Thatcher came to office in 1979.

By last year that number was 2.5 million.

Source: The Guardian

Last year, the British bought £97 billion ($153 billion) more in goods from other countries than they sold to them.

The biggest shortfall since 1980.

Source: The Guardian

Between 2005 and 2010, total industry production dropped over 10%

Source: OECD

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.